AP Source: Big East, Boise must be persuaded
NEW YORK (AP) — The Big East is considering adding Boise State football to help bolster the conference's chances of retaining its BCS automatic bid, though both sides still need to be persuaded that it's the right move.
A college football official, who spoke Thursday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the Big East's plans, says some Big East presidents are resisting adding Boise State and the school itself has reservations about joining a conference in flux.
The Big East said earlier this week it would like to expand to 12 football schools.
Boise State has been one of the winningest programs in college football over the last decade and its record of success, some Big East officials believe, will help the league retain its automatic bid to the BCS. Without that, the Big East could lose millions in revenue, not too mention prestige.
Last month, Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced they would be leaving the Big East to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, leaving the Big East with six football members: Louisville, Cincinnati, West Virginia, Rutgers, Connecticut and USF.
The Big East also has eight schools that do not play football in the league: Villanova, Georgetown, St. John's, Providence, Seton Hall, Marquette, DePaul and Notre Dame.
Navy and Air Force have also been targeted as football-only members, and the Big East is considering Temple from the Mid-American Conference and Central Florida and East Carolina from Conference-USA as members in all sports.
SMU and Houston from CUSA are also possibilities, allowing the Big East to regain the presence in Texas it thought it was going to have with TCU.
Last week, TCU reneged on its decision to join the Big East in 2012 and decided to join the Big 12.
The official said Boise State has concerns about the commitment of the Big East's current members.
The Big 12 could be in the market to expand again, especially if Missouri leaves for the Southeastern Conference, and Louisville and West Virginia are among the schools it would consider adding.
Also, UConn has interest in joining the ACC if that league expands past the 14 it will have when Pitt and Syracuse join.
The Big East has been holding conference calls all week, including Thursday, to discuss expansion issues.